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New York Knicks to pursue lucrative Julius Randle contract extension this summer

Matt Johnson

[brid autoplay=”true” video=”753522″ player=”23231″ title=”Julius%20Randle%20Deserves%20the%20NBA's%20Most%20Improved%20Player%20Award%20over%20Zion%20Williamson” duration=”90″ description=”Carolyn Manno asks Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix if New York Knicks star Julius Randle deserves the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Mannix makes the case for Randle and explains why Pelicans star Zion Williamson should be exempt from winning.” uploaddate=”2021-04-09″ thumbnailurl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/17660/thumb/753522_t_1617917936.png” contentUrl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/17660/sd/753522.mp4″]

When the New York Knicks signed Julius Randle in the 2019 offseason, they hoped the former No. 7 overall pick would take the next step in his career and could become an impactful player. Fast forward to the 2020-’21 NBA season and Randle could be headed for an even bigger contract thanks to a breakout year.

The 26-year-old forward earned his first trip to the All-Star Game after averaging 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per contest across his first 37 games. Randle is quickly becoming one of the NBA’s next stars and has been crucial to the Knicks’ stunning record (37-29) this season.

While the Knicks are focused on holding onto the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s already talk about their plans for the summer. New York could have more than $60 million in cap space and the front office might have big plans for how they will spend the money.

Read More: New York Knicks could pursue Damian Lillard trade this offseason

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Knicks will discuss a contract extension with Randle this summer. While there’s some uncertainty about whether or not Randle wants a long-term deal now or prefers to wait to become a free agent in 2022, there will be negotiations once the season is over.

Randle is owed $18.9 million this season and his $20.745 million salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed on June 28. The Knicks are more than happy to retain him at that price for the 2021-’22 campaign, but it would be wise to pursue a long-term deal this summer.

Related: Lonzo Ball interested in the New York Knicks once NBA free agency opens

What can the New York Knicks offer Julius Randle?

While it would be in Randle’s best interest to play out the remainder of his contract, he’s been a great fit with the Knicks and would likely love the opportunity to keep playing for the organization. If he’s open to a contract extension now, there’s a max offer New York can submit.

As Windhorst notes, the Knicks can submit a four-year contract extension worth $106 million guaranteed. The deal could include incentives, like All-Star Game appearances and All-NBA selections, that would push the maximum value of the contract to $160 million.

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It would be a significant raise for Randle, but it would also prevent him from hitting the open market for several years and thus limiting his earning potential. Instead, New York could offer him a short-term extension that keeps him under contract for the next two seasons and then allows him to hit the open market still in his prime.

  • Julius Randle stats: 24.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 5.9 apg, 46.1% shooting, 42.% three-point shooting and 20.32 PER

One thing is for certain, the New York Knicks are headed in the right direction. With Randle and RJ Barrett making huge strides this season, there is young talent to build around. While the talent pool of free agents this summer is weaker than teams hoped, expect the Knicks to pursue impact talent on the open market and via trade.